Randy Newman: My Life in 15 Songs

Here's how a comic genius built one of American music's greatest catalogs

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"One More Hour"

I came into movies the back way, from songwriting instead of doing film first. In scoring, everything is for the picture. If it isn't up there on the screen, you don't do it. You do your best for the picture on any and every occasion. With this song [the first of Newman's 20 Academy Award nominations], I already had the theme for the film. I added a counter-line so it would be a tune of some kind. It's over the credits [sung by Jennifer Warnes], but it has to be of a piece with the rest of the picture. I wouldn't have written that song for myself. But the songs for movies are a chance for me to walk right down the middle of the road with lyrics. I get to write things that are simpler.

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